If you are anything like other women, you have at times been reprimanded for putting your wants and needs first, for setting boundaries, and for not going with the flow of what others wanted you to do. You may have been called selfish, spoiled or even a bitch. I can remember a time when I was called an ice queen and how completely embarrassed I was in that moment. It was with an interaction that changed me and made me question the way I behaved and the person I was.
I married young and at the time had terribly low self-esteem. I hadn’t really found myself yet and remember feeling as though I would probably never be able to find anyone better than my Ex. I would see that there were things I desired, callings of my heart and soul that were not being met in my relationship, but I immediately would feel like I was being ungrateful and selfish. I didn’t feel worthy of the type of man I imagined in my mind, and so I became afraid of losing what I had and did whatever it took to keep it.
As time went on, my desires and requests were looked upon as selfish and unrealistic. I felt guilty about wanting more and terrified to make any sort of demand for it. I would have moments of clarity knowing I was worthy of everything I desired but then would quickly talk myself out of it by reminding myself I needed to be grateful for what I did have. After all, who was I to think that I could have everything I wanted? That was just selfish thinking and it quickly brought me back to memories of being called spoiled as a child.
I kept myself small and worked as hard as I could just to be grateful and stop the ridiculous thoughts about wanting and needing more.
But eventually I couldn’t pretend any longer and that part of me that knew I was worthy got louder and clearer. So I began taking risks to put myself first and made my own wants and needs a priority. It was really hard at first and I doubted myself at every turn. I felt guilty, ashamed, and even pissed a couple of people off. I stuck with it though and eventually learned the difference between being self-centered vs. making myself a priority. I learned that being selfish was actually okay.
Being selfish really means tending toward self. It means honoring your own path in such a way that it is sacred. From this space, you set boundaries, practice self-care, place your joy and happiness at the top of your list, do not self-sacrifice, and to own your self-worth. When you are selfish, tending toward self, you fill up with so much abundance that you are able to be of service to others in a much greater way. You cannot be of service to others when you come from lack and you are beyond powerful when you come from abundance. Over time I became more and more comfortable with prioritizing me and watched as I became more joyful and full of love than ever before.
I wrote a poem about a year ago that I want to share with you here. I choose to be selfish in a way that allows me to give freely. It is time for you to be this selfish too.
I choose ME
I choose to LIVE in a way that makes ME come ALIVE….
to BELONG in a way that inspires JOY in myself and others
to be STRONG in a way that demands me to be VULNERABLE
to be SELFISH in a way that allows me to GIVE freely
to EXPAND in a way that teaches me to ride the waves of PAIN
to SHOW UP in a way that requires my COURAGE
to CREATE in a way that awakens my every PASSION
to SUCCEED in a way that expands my sense of GRATITUDE
to SHINE in a way that ignites the LIGHT in others
to take RISKS in a way that welcomes my MISTAKES
to TEACH in a way that enhances my capacity to LEARN
to SEE in a way that compels my GODNESS
to CONTRIBUTE in a way that embodies our ONENESS
to be CURIOUS in a way that begets my FREEDOM
to LOVE in a way that elevates my SOUL
How do you choose to live?
This article originally appeared at http://jennjoycoaching.com/thats-right-get-selfish/.
Jennifer Butler is the community leader and audience developer at DivorceForce. She is a writer and life coach who has navigated through her own divorce as well. To find more of her writing head over to www.jennjoycoaching.com or www.instagram.com/jennjoycoaching.